Jim Reekers (Amsterdam UMC, Amsterdam, The Netherlands), Editor-in-chief of Cardiovascular and Interventional Radiology (CVIR) Endovascular, was awarded the European Society of Radiology (ESR) Gold Medal at this year’s—virtual—European Congress of Radiology (ECR; 15–19 July).
Reekers is a former president of the Cardiovascular and Interventional Radiological Society of Europe (CIRSE), and a professor Emeritus of Radiology and Interventional Radiology at the University of Amsterdam.
He has received the ESR Gold Medal in recognition of his achievements in the field of interventional radiology (IR). In a statement on their website, CVIR Endovascular say: “We hope [this award] will increase the visibility of IR and the importance of endovascular procedures”.
“It means a lot,” Reekers tells this newspaper, when asked about the impact of a prominent interventional radiologist receiving the Gold Medal award at the largest European radiology congress. “I think that diagnostic radiology (DR) is the basis for any interventional radiologist. Up to date diagnostic skills—and that means understanding the whole spectrum of diagnostic radiology—is mandatory to be an IR expert. Any medical specialist performing endovascular or interventional oncology procedures without high level diagnostic skills will always stay a craftsman, sometimes useful, but will never be able to make the real difference. Performing IR without up to date diagnostic skills is like driving with your eyes closed, and hoping for the best.”
Writing on Twitter, Reekers’ colleague Rick van Rijn (also Amsterdam UMC, Amsterdam, The Netherlands) wrote: “Proud moment for Dutch Radiology and for a great and inspiring colleague. For several years I have had the pleasure to work with him at the same department at the Amsterdam UMC #welldeserved”.
“I see this as a great honour,” Reekers says, “the golden crown on my career as an interventional radiologist (and trained radiologist), an innovator, a researcher, a mentor, and a teacher. To be only the second Dutch radiologist to receive this honour feels very special to me. This award symbolises to me personally that diagnostic and interventional radiology should always stay one close family. On equal base, with full clinical responsibilities for IR, and permanent cross fertilisation.”
Radiologists Richard FitzGerald (Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals National Health Service [NHS] Trust, Wolverhampton, UK) and Katrine Riklund (Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden) also received Gold Medals at this year’s ECR.